Since I began to play with my pet Nero Wave editor, I have become better at making my sound constructions. They sound clearer. This caused me to go back and redo the Meditation of The Name Havaya which I published previously. The method for doing the meditation is unchanged. So I am re-posting my comments to the original Havaya meditation here:
Music is intrinsic to Jewish Meditation. This has been so since the time of the Prophets, and it continues so until the present day. All Jewish forms of contemplation that I know (including Talmud study!) are accompanied by some kind of singing or melody. The traditional literature is replete with descriptions and explanations of the power of music.
Jewish Meditation comprises for the most part, contemplation of the Divine Names. I have attempted to construct the kind of music that you can listen to as you contemplate the letters of the Hebrew Aleph Bet, as they appear in the Divine Names, and as they are permutated and combined in the various meditation practices known as Yihudim or "Unifications"
The first stage of constructing this music was to work out a Tonal Alphabet corresponding to the 22 Hebrew Letters. A letter is symbolized by a particular chord (or actually a three tone interval) on the guitar rising from the lower tones (Aleph) to the higher tones (Yod). The letters Kaf through Qof are symbolized by variations of those first ten intervals, rising through the same space (so to speak) but using different values.
The last three letters (Resh, Shin and Tav) are chords played on the fifth fret and up.
Each chord or interval can be used to pick or strum the letters. Various vocal tones seem to follow naturally from listening to the intervals, and once a certain sequence of letters (like a Divine Name) is encoded musically, you can even extemporate over it arriving at a melody or theme that expresses that sequence, at least as it resonates with that particular individual.
The tones, intervals and melodies which have resulted so far do not sound like typical Jewish music. However, I am pleased to note that they sound something like the kinds of melodic lines used the the various Hazzanim at my Rebbe's Kabbalah Yeshiva
My first meditation construction is (of course) for the name "Havayah" that is Yod/ He/Vav/He.
The sequence of the four letters is represented in three distinct ways: as a series of vocal tones, as a series of bell tones and as a series of four units each containing three string tones played on the guitar. In general the idea is that the Name Havaya contains within it the balance between the divine attributes of judgement and loving-kindness through the attribute of truth or compassion. The vocal tone stands for loving-kindness. The rather ominous bell tone stands for judgement. The string tones stand for the balancing attribute, for indeed the strings present a both a mathematical and emotional structure full of harmonies.
In the course of the construction, you will be introduced to to name Havaya in its three sound expressions. As the construction progresses, the vocal, bell
and string tones will permutate and then interpenetrate into a state of unity and harmony. At first you should listen for the distict sound forms representing each letter, and you should visualize each letter along with its sound form. As the construction progresses you should be able to sense the letters becoming one in the underlying unity of the divine name and the light of the Infinite One which fills it.
The vocals are mine. As for the bell tones...they come from a truly authentic and holy source. To make the bell sounds I banged on the cast aluminum lid of our Shabbat Chulent pot. It has a very nice ring (I think.) The guitar is an old nylon string that my daughter once bought for her lessons. All the tones are recorded, adapted and modified using Nero Wave Editor. The emperor Nero, it should be pointed out, eventually converted to Judaism according to the Talmudic tradition.